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Prop. 19: Youth vote considered key in marijuana legalization battle [Updated]


Backers of Proposition 19 are counting on a big youth vote in their uphill battle to legalize marijuana in California.

VoicesAlthough polls show Proposition 19 trailing, backers told The Times' John Hoeffel and Maria L. LaGanga this week that the polls could be missing infrequent voters and young voters who might come out to the polls specifically for the measure.

"This is something tangible in their hands that they can do tomorrow that will have immediate impact," said Dale Sky Jones, a spokeswoman for the Yes on 19 campaign.

The most recent Los Angeles Times/USC poll suggested a significant generation gap when it comes to Proposition 19.

Likely voters younger than 40 are in favor of it by 48% to 37%, but older voters, who say they are more enthusiastic about voting in this election, are not. Among likely voters 65 and older, only 28% support the measure, while 59% said they were opposed, according to the poll.

According to the Times/USC poll, likely voters opposed the measure 51% to 39%.

The measure, which needs a majority vote to pass, would allow Californians who are at least 21 to grow up to 25 square feet of marijuana and possess up to an ounce. Cities and counties could authorize commercial cultivation and sales, and could impose taxes.

Will a big youth vote be enough to save Proposition 19? Share your views.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: Don Bartletti / L.A. Times


Comments () | Archives (91)

Banged out my last post so quickly that I forgot to mention another wonderful benefit of legalizing marijuana: Police resources will be freed up to go after hard drugs like crack, meth, etc. These are the drugs that put young kids on the streets and ruin lives.

I am going to be 50 in December. I smoked pot when I was young. My friends who did not smoke pot had no problem with the innocuous drug. My generation as a whole dose not have a problem with smoking pot. The Geezers that think it a scourge are on there way out. I will smoke LEGAL Marijuana when I retire. I can't now because I will lose my job. In other words countrywide legalization is maybe 10 years away. Let's do it now and pay off the national debt and get pot smokers out of our overcrowded prisons. We will be better off. Maybe the people that use the legal schedule 4 narcotic (alcohol) will consider this as a viable alternative. IT IS INEVITABLE, LETS DO IT NOW!

Here in Mexico we do not want to legalize marihuaha it would end the business for the traffickers. If marijuana is legalized in California, many Mexican drug lords would lose money and increase domestic consumption in Mexico.

@ Amanda Gonzalez you need to open your eyes, you must have a sad life because you take pain killers to ease your pain.
You can't overdose on Marijuana but you can with pain killers.

Those who are for 19 are funny. How many of those "tax" dollars are you think going to reach our broke schools?? I want you to really think about that. california is broke not because of how much money the state brings in, but for the pocketing and bad spending of politicans. If kids werent smoking up, they would be passing their classes and having scholarships pay for their education without the need for student loans. People who smoke up know that they are not functional for a good amount of time afterwards. Do you realize that you will still be pulled over under the "DUI" law. The only ones who will really seen any benefit out of this will be drug lords in mexico that will make money off of our own stupidity.

Amanda, you can say the same thing about "chilling" with alcohol. If you have to take alcohol to chill, something must be wrong with you!!!!

I do not live in California, but i think Prop 19 should be voted as YES!

Beer, wine, etc... its all a form of drugs that if used is large quantities impairs your ability to drive, think right etc... Marijuana if you think about it does the same thing, yet it is not legal.

So many other crimes such as rape murder etc could be focused on instead of a plant that makes you feel good, sleepy, hungry, or whatever it makes you feel.

Its just a plant not a chemical made drug like meth. Tobacco is just a plant..... I am not seeing an issue with Marijuana being made legal.


How mature of you calling the teen population uneducated and foolish. By the looks of it you are the immature one who is uneducated about the topic at hand. Try opening your mind and get past the "teens think its cool because it is illegal" garbage and focus on the pros of proposition 19. By the way, I garuntee a very small amount of kids do it for the thrill of it being a banned substance..that is just you stereotyping the teenage population. I do it because I have the right to consume a natural plant that grows in the ground. My joint isn't as bad as the alchohol I'm sure you consume. Please do some research before you voice your ignorant opinion.

@ Brian: That is the dumbest thing I've read on here. I do support Arizona for making a law that is considered by many "unconstitutional". The law goes against federal law. So does prop 19, and again, I'm in favor of it. Besides, if 19 passes and I'm smoking marijuana inside my house, the cops won't do anything. It's not like the Fed's are gonna come raid my house. Follow the law, and you'll be safe.

I do not smoke pot and i think the outcomes of it being legal will be alot better then the negatives. They are gunna keep smoking it anyway why not make a profit off it instead?

Place a vote for yes from me to proposition 19. Being a famous news anchor from California.

There is no reason why weed should not be legal.

Are you telling me that pot is illegal and mcdonalds is not? are you going to tell me that I can get a corn fed fatty beef burger at burger king but, people can not smoke weed? that I can take 19 asprin and die but, not die from weed? I can get in my car after downing 2 pitchers of beer and blacking out and hitting a family of 5 while running a red light and killing them all.. but I cant smoke some weed and relax in the privacy of my own home? Rubbish...

have u guys ever thought about how the federal government will react over this if it passes. they can and will stop federal funding to certain programs if it does pass, which means more jobs lost and more lost money for cali. grow up stop thinking about yourself and what you want and think about all the bad outcomes. it will not decrease crime, and it people will still steal it and kill for it here. the people selling it will just go to another state where it is not legal.

I truly believe from a medical standpoint that it is helpful for those who are suffering, such as cancer patients. Weed affects people in so many different ways, yes there are people that abuse it, but look at drinking?

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